Thursday, June 13, 2013

After the Storm....

"And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in." ~ unknown

This was the literal dream I had almost exactly 2 years ago, on my 41st birthday. I had no doubts what the dream meant, as much as I was fighting it at that time and continued to struggle with the reality of it for the next two years, the storm had arrived. I easily dealt with the small set backs (the small twister crossing my path), however the worst of the storm was on its way whether i was ready or not. Wrecking havoc in my life and all those close to me.

I have been quiet the past year not only with all of you, but with most of the people in my life, and even with myself. Divorce is never an easy life altering event. Whether you've been married only 1year or 16 years. No matter the circumstances that brought you to this crossroad, it is never an easy choice. I do know that I am no longer the person I was 2 years ago when this all began for me. I am even further from the person I was just 6 months ago. I have grown in ways I never imagined, and am excited to see where my new path takes me. Until recently, I had not allowed myself to process how this event has effected me. For the past year I was preoccupied with my surgery and complications of that, sitting in all the phases of grief yet not really allowing myself to feel them fully, healing from past traumas, and so on... The past 4 months I have been more gentle with myself, by allowing what comes up to be expressed in my journals. Beginning to understand my reality. Finding the lessons to be learned. Embracing the growth. Claiming myself.

Here is my processing, thus far......

"This is no fucking Mid-Life Crisis" ~ in the Book of Dreams 
Awoke to these words echoing in my head. 
Dreamt Feb 2012, completed Sept 15, 2012

"Transformation" ~ in the Book of Dreams
Dreamt of nurturing a baby salamander until it was strong enough 
to survive on its own, only to have a huge toad gobble it up.
Dreamt Jan 2, 2013, completed Feb 23, 2013
My new journal "After the Storm"
Cover is one of my monotype ghost prints that I then went back into and drew over the top with ink & colored pencil. 
7.5"x9"x1.5" ~ paper inside is heavy weight printmaking paper
Dedication page: Inside front cover
"Chapter XXXXII ~ After the Storm"
It was a bit of a break though to find bits and pieces of writing in 
the old book pages that resonated perfectly

Layers and layers of writing, painting, writing some more, painting some more. Learning about my personal symbolisms. I have pages and pages of feedback from trusted artist friends who helped me see just how significant this image is to me. It was like opening pandoras box. Home. What is home now? Where is my home now? Where is home for me now? I attempted to draw a crow, but it didn't feel right. Instead I painted a House sparrow. Yes, makes sense now, yet at the time I wasn't thinking about it. Rather, reacting to what the imagery seemed to need. 
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. 
Don't resist them – that only creates sorrow. 

Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in 
whatever way they like." ~Lao Tzu 
This was first time I was able to come to terms with the fact that I am a single mother now, that I need to allow myself to move into this new chapter. And just as significantly, that my soul knows what to do to heal itself. IF I will allow it and listen to the quiet voice.
"I AM"
claiming who i am. very deep soul work in this book spread. 
"Sloughing Off the Old"
I began this spread with the knowledge I needed to come to terms with my identity. 
Who am I now? 
Our names are often how most people first identify another. I was born to this life, Lisa Christine Cheney. During my brief first marriage I took on my husband's last name as is custom. I felt like a fraud the whole time. I was grateful to have my last name restored. Five years later I was facing the same dilemma. This time I chose to hyphenate my last name. At first it was cumbersome and long. But gradually I became this new name. For 16 years I was known as Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen both privately and professionally. There is no other person out there with my name. Now I was faced with the fact that that too wasn't who I am now. I chose to return back to my birth name. Regardless what happens in the future I will not be taking on another's name again. So this is where this piece started, coming to terms with my identity. This was the first layer that touched the page, my name written over and over. The next layer  and the layer after that was all mind dumping free writing until I could figure out what needed to be brought forth. In the very last open space on the page the title " it's time to shed this skin" appeared. Then I knew. What you see here is an image I have had rolling around in my mind for almost a year. It was realized when I wrote to a friend, "I feel like I am forcing myself back into a skin that no longer fits."  The time had come to move past the fear into acceptance, to slough off the old. All of this was done in the light of the full moon particle lunar eclipse on April 25th.

encaustic on a wood panel
This is currently where I am. Cutting cords. Releasing attachments.
 Learning not to hold on tight, but rather to relax, and simply let go of those that I've held onto for too long. 
I still have a lot more that needs to be worked out and put to the page.... works that are still in-process, awaiting the story to come forth. But this is where I am in my healing process. I am not the same person I once was, for which I am thankful. Bit by bit I am learning to love this new woman who stands before me. She has a mission, a purpose, and a path that I need to allow happen. It is all very exciting the doors that are presenting themselves, people who are coming into my life for very specific reasons, and the paths that are laid out before me. I am so close to closing this chapter in my life, so that I can more forward into my new life. Into my soul purpose. My heart is so full with love to all those that have been with me this past year 1/2, both family and friends. And as much of a shock as this may sound to some, I am thankful to my ex husband who has been going through the same events and yet in the end, we have become friends. This in and of itself, is a very rare feat. 


Sandi said...

you have a gift that gives heart to others, a soft whisper of hope, weathering a storm is a life altering event and you have shared yours with dignity and beauty, thanks

Pam McKnight said...

Yes, you do have a gift, not only of art but a gift of insight and inspiration to others, as well as the bravery to share it with all.

Polly Johnson said...

In the very short time and very small way that I have known you I have seen growth. Thank you for sharing your story and truths. I am honored to be a part of that in some small way, and I'm excited for the next bend in your journey!

Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen said...

I started to write a response to each of your gracious comments. But it quickly turned into a very long reply, and then I wanted to include a picture to illustrate my reply... alas no pictures in comments are allowed. So I've started a new post for you... :)

I thank each of you for your heartfelt comments. I humbly appreciate you support. Sending you each my love! xo

Belladonna said...

I have just discovered your enermous talent and I can't stop admiring your unique and meaningful works. Love them!

Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen said...

Hi Belladonna,
Thank you for your kind comment! I very much appreciate you stopping here and leaving me a message. :)

June said...

I'm happy to get to see better your work and what you explained to me... it seemed to me deeper and I can see now it is in fact, it's a wonderful work you did, an art therapy very personal in fact.
I'm blessed I got to know you in my dreamful town, I hope the dream wasn't too deceptfull as reality is sometimes...
Keep going on, I hope I'll come over to see you!

Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen said...

My dear friend June!
Thank you for taking a look at my "other" work. Yes, very therapeutic it has been.

As for my experience in Paris and France, it was all that I dreamed and more! I can't wait to start working on new art from my experience there. You were a very big part of making my experience what I dreamt it would be. I can't wait to reciprocate the same for you!!!

Sending you lots of love,

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